Next week, December 8th-14th, is Computer Science Education Week, a week-long event celebrating the rise of computer science and programming skills being taught and learned around the world. As part of this week, schools and tech giants are partnering with Code.org for Hour of Code, a global initiative to give people the tools they need to start learning to code. Technology is quickly being integrated into every aspect of our lives, and with it comes hundreds of thousands of jobs related to its creation and maintenance. But to fill these jobs we must learn the skills needed: and that starts with code.
Currently, only 2% of students study computer programming, yet programming jobs are increasing at double the pace of other jobs [USA Today]. If we can increase the number of students with coding skills, we can fill more jobs and boost the economy with impact in every sector. As a computer science student, I know firsthand how beneficial coding skills are – they are so sought-after and can open up doors to a career in any industry. I was fortunate enough to have my first coding class in high school, and I hope that programming will soon be recognized as one of the pillars of modern education like math, science and humanities, so that every student has an equal opportunity in this huge segment of the job market.
I am proud to announce that I will be co-hosting Microsoft’s Hour of Code webcast on Monday December 8th at 9AM PDT/12PM EST, one week from today! My teammate Susan Ibach and I will be fixing a broken game using TouchDevelop, Microsoft’s cross-platform, all-ages app. Tune in to Channel9.msdn.com at that time and take part in changing the world with Hour of Code!
Whether you’re a student, teacher, parent, or friend, I encourage you to take part in Hour of Code next week. There are endless ways to get involved with Hour of Code, from code-along videos to interactive tutorials with Frozen’s Elsa and Anna. Check out Code.org’s website for resources to get started – you could host a session at a school, post a video tutorial, or share your thoughts and creations on social media using the #HourOfCode hashtag. Whether you’re Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or even President Obama, everyone starts somewhere with their first hour of code.